A Letter from the Joint School Committees
June 10, 2020
Tonight, I share a letter to the community from the Concord School Committee and the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee that was first shared at last night’s Joint School Committee meeting.
Concord/Concord-Carlisle School Committees
June 9, 2020
Statement to the Community
The killing of George Perry Floyd Jr. is the most recent in a long line of crimes and injustices that are made possible by persistent bias and discrimination that is embedded in American culture. Mr. Floyd’s death has elicited a widespread call to action to put new energy and commitment toward achieving our goal of racial equality and an end to hate.
Systemic racism and institutionalized prejudice have taken root in our culture, and our schools, over the past four hundred years. “Enough is enough” is the appeal that these School Committees and school leaders hear as a new call to action. It is our call to action.
Does hope for a better future die today at the knee of systemic racism? We reject that.
Does love for others die as we witness, in horror, eight minutes of cruelty? We reject that.
Does our personal dignity die when we discover that our hands casually remain in our pockets while we witness injustice? We reject that. Furthermore, we promise that you will not find our hands in our pockets. We have work to do in the Concord and Concord-Carlisle Schools and we are committed to that work.
Cultural awareness is one part — we need to provide our children with positive growth opportunities and first-hand experiences that teach responsibility for the safety and dignity of others. We expect the schools to develop more cross-community programs that leverage Concord and Carlisle’s privileged position and benefit communities beyond our own. Toward this end we ask the support of the entire community. We commit to listening and learning and acting for change, so that the children and families we support are empowered to love, learn, and transform American society and realize our dream of equality for all.
We understand that the killings of George Floyd and countless other men, women and children of color over the course of our nation’s history is made possible because people have accepted it. White people have learned this acceptance. Implicit bias is real and powerful and among us. We have learned that it is easier to “go along to get along.” But we’ve been grievously wrong all along. The truth is that it’s time to change. We will do the necessary work of listening and learning and acting for change, so that the children and families of Concord, Carlisle and Boston that we support are empowered to love, learn, and transform American society and realize the dream of equality for all. Racism has no place here.
We rededicate ourselves to the cause of racial justice and respect for all human beings.
Heather Bout, Chairperson Wallace Johnston, Chairperson
Concord School Committee Concord-Carlisle School Committee